Hey guys
I'm in a band that is in it's infancy I guess and I play guitar and sing. I have been doing both for a while but not at the same time.

The big problem I'm having is keeping time when I'm singing. If I'm playing something pretty simple like just letting a chord ring out while I sing then it's obviously no problem. Once things start getting more complicated though, everything just turns to shit and I find myself gradually falling out of time with the guitar.

Any tips to improve? (sorry if this has already been posted, I checked around and couldn't find anything similar enough)
My first instinct, being someone who is still going through the same thing, is that one problem lies in confidence. I.e. you guess you play guitar and sing. Wear it on your sleeve man, the best way to play guitar and sing at the same time (relatively complicated guitar, that is) is to find a way for it to feel natural.

That's just one, rather small perhaps, tip which might help in the long run. Other than that, I guess every song can offer it's own challenges.

For me, whenever I play Seven Nation Army, there's a line in each verse (for example, i think one of them is "im bleeding and im bleeding and im bleeding right before the lord" or something) where the timing for each word in the line is a big jump away from the standard timing for the rest of the verses, and it almost always catches me out.

But every now and then, I don't know why, but i'm able to detach my hands and my head, and my hands will play the riff normally without stopping to adapt to the vocals. It's usually when I'm really 'in the mood' to sing that particular song. You know what I mean? That's why I think it's useful to try to find a way to "feel" the timing of the song well enough that you'll be able to talk, sing, day dream, whatever, and still keep playing it.

also: just as a side note, in my view I think if you cant play some guitar lines and sing at the same time, it isnt actually that you're not doing it right. Sometimes it's just tricky, all you can do is wait until it clicks. And, inevitably, it does.

a friend of mine called steve plays guitar for "saints patience", a really great blues rock band who I hope are gonna get signed soon, and he's a phenomenal guitarist. The other day, he couldnt play the riff to cochise, and sing it at the same time, and so they didn't do the song (it was a covers gig or something), and it really hit home. I think it's something, as a musician, you're allowed to occasionally stumble upon.

It's just time and effort devoted to the song in question, and you might not be doing anything wrong at all.
Last edited by voodoochild23 at Mar 12, 2012,
practice practice practice! Play the song on guitar until it's second nature, then move to playing guitar and humming the tune, then play the guitar and sing at the same time. Then practice it until you have it down.
I'm not much of a singer, but I for one find it easier to keep time when singing. Playing with an unsteady drummer or bassist can be a nightmare however.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.